Written By: Ayn Rand

Narrated By: Edward Herrmann

Date: March 2003

Duration: 8 hours 29 minutes


The Fountainhead studies the conflict between artistic genius and social convention, a theme Ayn Rand later developed into the idealistic philosophy knows as Objectivism. Rand's hero is Howard Roark, a brilliant young architect who won't compromise his integrity, especially in the unconventional buildings he designs. Roark is engaged in ideological warfare with a society that despises him, an architectural community that doesn't understand him, and a woman who loves him but wants to destroy him. His struggle raises questions about society's attitude toward revolutionaries. Since this book's publication in 1943, Rand's controversial ideas have made her one of the best-selling authors of all time.


  • James D.

    After reading some more recent fiction, I found this book immensely enjoyable. Rand is such a skilled writer! And I agree with many aspects of the thesis she purposes- the importance of individualism and the problems and anti humanistic aspects of collectivism. But in many ways she falls short. Her characters are caricatures, with little realism to them. In some ways the content necessitate this, as the book is really about ideas, not characters. To me at times it felt clunky. If you had to compare her to Shakespeare or Dostoevsky, you would say well they are masters, while she is not quite in the same league. The other main problem seems to me to be that her villain is set up as a straw man, whom she knocks down. I felt this book would have been more powerful if she had taken a more balanced view of the opposite side and still have been able to overcome its arguments.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Adrian Winters

    An exquisite novel, read by a masterful orator. absolutely brilliant!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    My favorite book. It’s better as a book.

  • Anonymous

    This is a highly original and fascinating book but I didn't realise this was an abridged version. Steer clear and go for the full version. They have cut out some classic scenes, particularly the character development of Ellsworth Toohey which are some of the best bits.

  • Jodi C.

    Should be required reading for our youth

  • Lisa J.

    such a powerful novel, well narrated giving real character identity. easy to see why it’s one of the greatest novels of all time. will forever be changed by meeting Howard Roark.

  • David S.

    Easy listening, but challenging and thought provoking. Strongly recommend.

  • Angela P.

    great story

  • Sharon S

    I never got a chance to read this when I was in school and seriously had no idea what it was about. The story - revolves around architecture in New York starting around 1920....but has more to do with relationships both between people and buildings. It had many undertones, symbolism etc. but on its own was an enjoyable listen full of twists and turns.

  • bek

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and in fact, there were times I would find ways to linger in the car to hear just a little more of it. I had never read Ayn Rand before but am glad I listened to a friend's recommendation. Powerful characters and a very interesting story line. The narrator did a great job of following the flow of the book and the personalities of the characters. I would highly recommend this book! Next stop...Atlas Shrugged (but the unabridged version this time)!

  • nittany1979

    The arrogance of Howard Rourke! Not to be missed! This story was excellent, a love story intertwined with the little known world of architectual design. I enjoyed every chapter, was easily transported into the author's world, and now know why Ayn Rand has become such a staple of literature.

  • wlh

    This was a good book, but I did not find it as entertaining as Atlas Shrugged. Nonetheless, it is an excellent read.

  • Touk

    This is a book that is more read about than read - and for good reason. Unfortunately this is one classic that has not aged well. I am willing to consider that perhaps it is the language of the era that to our ears sounds rather pretentious and stilted, but that doesn't make it any more comfortable or inviting to listen to. Ayn Rand's characters feel contrived and cartoonish, bland and banal and a lot of other words that end up being more interesting than her stylish and empty moral players.

  • Daparoye

    Another good book by Ayn Rand. I liked this book and its ideas very much. I gave it only four stars for a few reasons. I don't know about falling in love with a man who has raped me or maybe she is saying all women secretly want to be raped by very intelligent and strong men. I don't know. As with all of her books, the good guys are GOOD and the bad guys are BAD. You are told who is who. The book spans many, many years and there is an epic sense to it. But I enjoyed the message, the narrator and the story and would definately recommend this book.

  • Diaphanous

    I really enjoyed the book. Rand was not bashful at all about making the hero a sort of untouchable, perfect, never-to-be-attained hero, in her eyes. The book truly is, a narrative of her philosophy. What is most interesting to me, is a study of Rand's life and to see how far short, she fell, in her own life of trying to live out the values she espoused. It was fine and dandy, for her to take another womans husband as a lover, it fit right into her philosophy. Yet, when this man, found another woman, Rand could not bear it. She was a woman of great ideas, mostly displaced. I also enjoyed Atlas Shrugged. The most educational point of these books is how seemingly perfect a philosophy can seem on paper (even if it does promote egoism and decry helping others), yet when the author tries to live out her ideals, we find she is an empty and flawed being, like us all, in need of the Truth.

  • Adam

    A classic. A must read.Very well written and read. How amazing that every decade this book becomes more and more relevant.

  • Anonymous

    Very good! The reader did a fantastic job using different voices for each person. The story of course is fantastic but anyone who knows who Ayn Rand already knows that! Great listen. Loved every minute.

  • Anonymous

    I enjoyed this book so much I finished it in just a couple of days and found myself sitting in my car when I got to work/home just a little longer so that I could finish a chapter.

  • Daniel Gélinas

    This was my first Ayn Rand novel. I can tell you this is far from my last. I was taken by surprise by an incredible masterpiece of modern literature. The characters are fascinating.. at times you want to slap them, at times you want to cry for them. The ideals described here are utopic but offer fascinating debates which I think about long after I put the book down. Finally, the narrator is excellent. Right on to Atlas Shrugged for me !

  • Thom Ramsdell

    Another Ayn Rand masterpiece. The story and narration captured my imagination and held it to the end. This ranks right up there with Atlas Shrugged.

  • Anonymous

    Ayn Rand methodically chips away at the main character, but he never flinches. At every opportunity society tries to bend this progidy to fit in their schema, but every time Howard follows his standards. Well written and narrated.


    I've read this novel many times since the 9th grade. -my first time- A grand read. I married an architect. We agree it's a fun read. For creative genius read 'Atlas Shrugged.' Great warm up for the book Ms. Rand deemed her best book 'Atlas Shrugged.'

  • Eric Ervin

    The first Ayn Rand title I have read and I am now hooked. I loved the book. Very well read also.


by Ayn Rand

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